Emptywheel’s Bowl Mania Trash Talk

Wildcard weekend in the NFL is coming up soon! But, it is New Years Eve and we are well into the meat of NCAA Bowl Season. There are both traditional bowls to yammer about and the new fangled college Football Playoffs. A cornucopia if you will! ASU squeaked out a narrow win over Coach K and Duke in the Sun Bowl, thus salvaging at least a 10 win season and bowl win in what was once an incredibly promising season. Still not very satisfying. Our other major university here, University of Arizona, is in action in the Fiesta Bowl here in Cardinals’ stadium against Boise State this afternoon (should be starting soon on ESPN). I love Boise State, but this is almost a home game for the Cats, and they should prevail. TCu is on the teepee right now just freaking obliterating the ‘Ole Miss Rebels. Really ugly. Tonight, another SEC “powerhouse”, Mississippi State takes on the Ramblin Wreck from Georgia Tech in the Orangutang Bowl. I’ll take MSU, but it may be close. From here on out, I will be writing this in conjunction with Gaius Publius, still sailing high on this fine Irish win (he made me say that). For the Outback Bowl, Gaius says:

The head picks Auburn, the heart picks the Badgers. In the world of the heart, Wisconsin will run it down their throats.

Bmaz agrees, because, you know, cheese and Packers are Wisconsin staples. Booyah! For the Cotton Bowl, it is a matchup of Baylor versus the Spartys of Michigan State. Gauis says:

The head picks Baylor. The heart picks Baylor. Up yours, say the Bears, to the corrupt selection committee and its “process.”

The big games are, of course, tomorrow with the Championship semifinals in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. Let’s start out with the first game out of the gate, the Grandaddy Of Them All, the Rose Bowl. The Oregon State Quackers versus the Rapists er, Seminoles, of Florida State. Bmaz is gonna take the Ducks, because, well, they are the proper Pac-12 thing to do and I also think they are a better team. Florida State is overrated. Gaius says:

Ducks-with-talons (did you see those helmets and uniforms?) makes no sense. FSU, despite their peccadilloes (yes, in the world of sports, rape is a one of the peccas), will leave it on the field; also the Ducks; also their feathers, pointed and sharp though they be. That’s the head. The heart? Hey, I’m just upriver from them, and Jameis Winston needs a bring-down, a comeuppance. Time for Winston to trip up on the field.

Next up is the Sugar Bowl with Ohio State and Alabama. How many times are the college football powers that be going to put the Buckeyes in these huge games to to get embarrassed for having done so? Just stop. For starters, OSU should not be in the Championship series to start with, both TCU and Baylor, or either one of them, would have been a FAR more deserving choice. And, next year, we can all blarney on about the raging mediocrity of the team in Ann Arbaugh. This year, the fail is from the home of the Horseshoe, not the Big House.

Gaius says:

It’s troubling to pick with the corrupt selection committee and its “process” — the one that favors the big-money “Big Five” conferences. But pick we must. The head says Alabama and its own corrupt process — the one where they sign 200 recruits, then toss out the worst 175 of them after they enroll in “school” — will take the game. But the heart says, please god, may the Bamans fall far. I’m not picking against the most corrupt — clearly the selectors are that — but the heart chooses the lesser evil, at least this time. tOSU in a heartbeat.

There you have it kids. It is bowl season, look alive! We will be back with a Wildcard Weekend NFL post (assuming I do not get too sloshed for the New Years. Music this week by the original Chicago Transit Authority with a live version of Make Me Smile. Holy shit was Terry Kath great. Rock and roll em.

52 replies
  1. Jim White says:

    Welcome, Gaius! I hope you didn’t force bmaz into praising the Domers too much during lunch today.
    Mildcats are off to a start that looks very much like Ole Miss. Could be a tough afternoon in the desert.

    • Ed Walker says:

      OSU with its third-string QB is in the play-off? After watching TCU dismantle that SEC powerhouse, I agree with Gaius that corruption feels like the right word.

    • Gaius Publius says:


      I hope you didn’t force bmaz into praising the Domers too much during lunch today.

      I didn’t have to force him at all. The phrase, “Yeah, we got lucky” tumbled from his lips.

      Truly, he and I agreed that ND bravely and nearly tied the game, after Domer & Golson turnovers nearly sunk us. Then it slipped away agian after a Golson turnover sunk us.


    • Bay State Librul says:

      Enjoyed your link to Rick Baras, a creative marketing genius.

      Got to thinking how the Patriots “Elvis” logo was hatched


      My predictions for the first round:

      Colts over Bengals
      Panthers upset the Cards
      Steelers defeat Ravens
      Cowboys nick Lions


      Bill’s presser was a lu-lu. Despite Scribe’s nom de plume, Cheatin’ Bill, is a genius. He gave a crash course in the history and technological advances to studying films, among other tidbits. He rates an Academy Award.

      • bmaz says:

        Panthers over Cards won’t be an upset; last I checked, Carolina was favored by 4.
        And rightly so.

  2. Gaius Publius says:

    From the article:

    > in order to add authenticity to NIKE’s licensed apparel business

    How telling. “Authenticity” is an ingredient to be added. Shows the moral emptiness of modern corporate life (and the mindlessness of the press, that no one killed that sentence as self-contradictory).

    Reminds me of one of the great lines about Hollywood (one of three I like to quote). The speaker is an agent:

    Remember, son. Sincerity is the greatest quality in the world. If you can fake it, you can have anything you want.


  3. What Constitution? says:

    Sitting here watching the Rose Parade — staged annually from Pasadena for the purpose of taunting 17,000 more snowbound Ohioans to move here. Don’t have strong preferences in the football games, but did want to note this week’s DC Bar opinion suspending Scott Bloch from practicing law based on the moral turpitude reflected in his criminal conviction for wiping DOJ hard drives after receiving a subpoena. So he gets a day in prison and 30 day suspensions in both California and DC. It’s not enough, but it’s worth publicizing. This prick has received greater legal sanction than John Yoo, though not as much as Donald Segretti. May somebody wake the f up and go get Yoo this year.

    • P J Evans says:

      Unless you happen to live in the area. Then you know that it’s cold – particularly this year – and possibly quite windy.
      You’d also be really glad when the two or three weeks of tourist season is over: all those people who come for football/parade are nuisances (if not actual hazards) on the road.

      • What Constitution? says:

        True enough, though the tourists pay a lot of salaries. A few years back I walked home from the Rose Bowl games, and the pictures coming from this afternoon’s game make me want to up my estimate to 20,000 snowbound Ohioans this year…..

  4. Peterr says:

    I find myself in agreement with Gaius on the Badgers, Ducks, and Sweatervests; not so much on the Bears; and completely mystified by his (or anyone’s) odd preference for the Domers.
    TCU’s work last night was indeed powerful, but they had two big strikes against them for getting into the playoff bowls. First, had they done to Baylor what they did to Ole Miss, they wouldn’t have missed the playoffs. Second, having to rally in order to beat the hapless Kansas Jayhawks by only four is damn near unforgivable for a playoff-bound team. In the committee members’ eyes, make that “clearly unforgivable.”

  5. bloopie2 says:

    Guess I’m stupid today (this year?), but can someone tell me why the NFL prohibits an owner from saying to the media, “He’s an excellent player, and we’d very much like to have him if he were available, but another club holds his rights”? Isn’t that merely stating an obvious fact?

    And Happy New Year To All!

      • bloopie2 says:

        “Nuts”? “The NFL”? Can those two go together? I mean, the NFL’s penalty for assaulting an opposing quarterback (the most valuable player on a team) is only a small fine (Suh), while the penalty for assaulting a non-player is banishment (Rice). And you call them “nuts”? How could you.

  6. bmaz says:

    The Wisconsin Badgers are on TV in a bowl game. WHERE IS PHRED???
    Looks like Mr. Publius hijacked my computer enough yesterday that I never formally made a Baylor/Michigan State prediction. I am doing so awesomely this bowl season (see my Mississippi State pick above), that I am going to go out on a limb and say Sparty may just pull an upset over the Bears. You can thank me later Baylor people.

  7. Peterr says:

    Not to jump the gun on the NFL Trash Talk thread, but maybe this will give bmaz something to work with from the Playoff Criminal Docket . . .

    When news broke last night that the Baltimore Ravens’ head of security, Darren Sanders, had been charged with sexual assault, details were slim. But now TMZ has gotten a copy of the police report, and is reporting that Sanders is accused of assaulting an M&T Bank Stadium employee during the Ravens’ game against the Browns on Dec. 14.

    Police report at the link.

  8. bloopie2 says:

    Say what you will about the states’ justice systems, at least they have gone to the trouble (in their criminal codes) of considering ahead of time all the various bad deeds that might be committed by their peoples, ranking them, and assigning punishments accordingly (subject somewhat to judges’ discretion). Looked at that way, the NFL punishment system is astonishingly made up on the fly and, as a result, oft-times horribly unjust.

    • bmaz says:

      If you look up “arbitrary and capricious” in Black’s Law Dictionary, there is a picture of Goodell and the NFL shield probably.

      • bloopie2 says:

        Touché. But basing my opinion on a quick scan of The Internet for the relevant definitions, I’d say he is more arbitrary than capricious. Capricious implicates “whimsical, subject to sudden changes in mood”. I don’t think he does that; rather, he is firmly fixed on the desired end result: Don’t hold the players to a high standard of conduct on the field, in case that might make the game less entertaining (fewer TV $$) and/or hurt the owners’ investments in their vassals. So much for the vaunted “personal conduct” policy.

  9. bloopie2 says:

    But back to the colleges, I can tell you from growing up in Ohio that the amount of arrogance on the part of Ohio State and its fans was huge – they were always the best and deserved MORE. I don’t know if that’s the same with other state teams, but I sense it is with Alabama at least; and don’t get me started on Florida State. So my hope for today’s playoffs is Oregon and Alabama, then next game Oregon. Fitting for the New Year – out with the old, in with the new.

  10. rosalind says:

    favorite band by far at the Rose Parade was the Koriyama Honor Green Band from Japan. If I heard correctly, they are all female plus 5 guys – easy to spot in their blue frocks in the following clip (start at the 13:30 mark). Clip is from their full performance at the Band Jam a couple days back, in the pouring rain:
    several of the members have a future with the Stanford Band. oh, and go Ducks!!!

  11. bloopie2 says:

    The Oregon defender can’t legally do a “hands to the face” stiff-arm against an FSU lineman, while defending a field goal attempt, but Winston, when running, can stiff-arm a potential defender in the face. Why? Safety is more at stake on the running play, it would seem. No fair.

  12. bloopie2 says:


    And it’s nice to see (hear) a game in a neutral venue — don”t have to listen to that Seminole chant crap all the time. When they do do it, it’s so out of place as to seem childish in comparison to the skill level of the Oregon offense.

  13. SomeCallMeTim says:

    WTF – Oregon STATE Quackers!? Bite yer tongue. With FSU’ s record in close games, I feel like it’s. 1991 & I’m watching the inevitable Pistons against the Traiblazers w/ Clyde Drexler…

  14. SomeCallMeTim says:

    Feeling a little better now. Big thank you to Tony Washington – stopped Winston & returned the fumble – a scoop six?

    The handwringing about UO defense over the years has been epic.

    (And tho it goes w/o saying, thanks Uncle Phil.)

    • Peterr says:

      The announcers were stunned by better than half of the FSU team bailing on the post-game handshakes and heading straight to the locker room. It’s one thing to shake hands when you win, they said, but you show your true class when you shake hands after a loss.
      Or, you know, your true lack of class.
      Let the record show that Winston stuck around to shake hands. Good for him, but sad that it should have to be pointed out. But think about this: if Winston is the bar for good conduct, God only knows what the majority of his FSU teammates might have been doing over the last couple of years.

  15. Peterr says:

    Best college football commercial I’ve seen in a long time . . .
    Bo Jackson, Herschel Walker, Doug Flutie, and Joe Montana are hanging out watching “the game” and talking about great football. Flutie goes into the Heisman Pose, as do Bo and Herschel. Then — all three of them still holding The Pose — they look at Joe and snicker.
    Montana raises his hand to his face, with his national college champion ring on his thumb and four big honkin’ Super Bowl rings on his four fingers.

      • Peterr says:

        In my head, I’m thinking the director of the commercial didn’t tell Flutie, Jackson, and Walker how the commercial ends. He just told them “. . . and then you guys hold the pose and look at Poor Joe with as much condescension and pity as you can muster.” Meanwhile, off to the side, an assistant gives Joe the punchline. Then the director gets everyone on set, says “Action!” and watches the whole thing play out.
        I’m not even a Montana fan, but this was priceless.

  16. Petrocelli says:

    New Year Dinner …Korean BBQ& Kabobs alongside hummus and assorted veggies. Chicken Biryani for the meat eaters and Lamb Biryani for the vegetarians. (h/t My Big Fat Greek Wedding)

    Go ahead and dig in…Happy New Year Everyone!

      • Petrocelli says:

        Much appreciated, bmaz. Things are far from good, lotsa hard work ahead.

        We’ve had great weather up until 2 night ago when it dipped sharply, Christmas was a BBQ party. *g*

        • Peterr says:

          In Kansas City, every day is a BBQ party.
          (Gotta remember the “lamb is a vegetable” for the next time my vegetarian family members come to visit . . .)

  17. Peterr says:

    Not a bad day for the B1G. Sweatervests, Spartans, and the Stinkin’ Badgers all took care of business pretty well.
    The SEC, OTOH, not so much.

    • Klynn says:

      Peterr, you are spot on. Big10 did quite well. Thankful that last vote went to the Buckeyes for the Sugar Bowl. It’s been quite a year for the team. To pull off a winning season under all the loss and injuries has been amazing to me. The team has character.

        • klynn says:

          Thanks bmaz. The game brought back amazing memories of the 1974 team singing Happy Birthday to me for my birthday just before the MI game. What a game for a little kid to see in the Shoe. Woody was so kind to my Dad and loved my inspirational chalkboard “cheers” that greeted the team every week. Started doing that for Coach at age two.

  18. Linnaeus says:

    Can’t say that I cheered for either Ohio State or Oregon (having attended their traditional rival schools), but I also can’t say I’m disappointed that Florida State and Alabama lost.

    The Big Ten East is going to get very interesting in the next few seasons, if Harbaugh can improve U-M (which I think he will, but only modestly in his first year).

    As for the national championship game, I’m inclined to say that Oregon will torch Ohio State, but then again, I thought OSU would lose to Alabama.

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